PhD student in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology

Employer
SciLifeLab
Location
Uppsala, Sweden (SE)
Salary
According to local agreement for PhD students
Posted
October 19 2019
Ref
UFV-PA 2019/3525
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Academia
Job Type
PhD Studentship

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 44.000 students, 7.100 employees and a turnover of SEK 7 billion.

SciLifeLab (www.scilifelab.se) is a Swedish national center for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research. The center combines frontline technical expertise with advanced knowledge of translational medicine and molecular bioscience. SciLifeLab is hosted by four Swedish universities (Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University) and collaborates with several other universities.  

The Department of Pharmacy offers a stimulating multidisciplinary working environment in research and teaching within the Pharmacy disciplines. The Department centers its research on Drug Delivery, Rational Drug Usage and Pharmaceutical Materials Science. The research is developed by a series of research groups, several of international prominence. The research groups represent a unique cluster of academic competences in Sweden and the Department of Pharmacy has thus a key role in the development of the pharmacy discipline in Sweden. Information about the department and the research groups can be found at www.farmfak.uu.se/farm/.

The PhD student will be linked to the research group Drug Delivery. The group takes a multidisciplinary approach and combines computational chemistry and bioinformatics with cell- and molecular biology, biopharmaceutics, pharmaceutics and physical chemistry to find new ways to predict and define rate-limiting barriers to the absorption and organ distribution of different types of drugs. We anticipate that our research will provide insights into new mechanisms for drug absorption, disposition and delivery, which will support development of new therapeutic strategies for efficient oral drug delivery. The position is placed in the research group of Alexandra Teleki that is associated with the Science for Life Laboratory.

Duties/Project description: The PhD student will work in the field of pharmaceutical nanotechnology, within the project Hybrid nanocarrier drug formulations. The overall purpose of the project is to establish a novel oral drug delivery platform incorporating functional nanoparticles tailored towards personalized medicine. The hybrid approach incorporates functional nanomaterials in the drug delivery system in order to (i) modulate formulation dispersion/dissolution, uptake and thus drug release profiles, and (ii) combine therapeutic with diagnostic capabilities. For example, drug release can be triggered by magnetic hyperthermia and nanoparticle ligands can be targeted towards specific disease biomarkers. The developed nano-enabled drug formulations will be 3D printed into personalized oral solid dosage forms. The ultimate goal is thus to develop a platform for oral drug formulations that can readily be personalized both with respect to the dosage form and the subsequent drug release/targeting capability upon administration.

The project is highly interdisciplinary acting at the interface of pharmaceutical and material sciences. It will primarily explore particle stabilized emulsions as oral drug delivery vehicles exhibiting the previously mentioned functionalities as well as their 3D printability into final oral dosage forms. The PhD student will explore various nanoparticle functionalities to trigger and control drug release. Using experimental methods, the PhD student will work on tailoring nanoparticle properties to encapsulate model drugs, identifying key properties that govern functionality of the novel drug delivery system and characterizing their performance upon oral administration in state-of-the-art pharmaceutical in vitro systems in order to successfully translate nano-enabled diagnosis and therapy to the gastrointestinal tract environment. The project thus closely links nanoparticle synthesis and drug formulation technologies for the design of multifunctional oral dosage forms.